Belfast Telegraph

George Best still makes headlines from beyond grave, but this is just potty

By Lindy McDowell

There is something so touching about the story of a love that never dies... that neither time nor even the grave can destroy.

Remember Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost, before the former's murder, making messy pottery to the tune of Unchained Melody?

Oh, my love, my darling...

Okay, so the movie required a certain suspension of disbelief, but at least the script had it that the pair of them had been very much together before death's terminal separation. Alex Best, who is claiming a similar afterlife reunion with George, had actually divorced him, let us not forget, before he died.

Not only that, it was a split marked by considerable acrimony. Alex down the years has given various interviews in which she has made a great deal about how theirs had not been a happy relationship - at the end anyway.

She'd found him in another woman's bed. A pointer there, if nothing else, that George's inability to get over his love for Alex may not have been as romantically eternal as she now suggests. But according to Alex who, of course, kept the Best name, George has come over from The Other Side (we're not talking football here) to rejoin her.

She claims he's been following her around for years now, has followed her in fact to three different properties she's lived in. She makes him sound a bit like those PPI sales callers you can never quite shake off. How does she know this is George who's haunting her? Apparently he gets up to the usual stuff that ghosts of ex-partners presumably do. He's moved furniture around (why?) and hidden her phone and her car keys...

What any ghost might hope to achieve by rearranging the living room suite or snaffling a mobile is not immediately apparent. But Alex has been to a medium who has assured her that this is definitely George making his presence felt, that he can't let go, and he is the reason why she in turn hasn't been able to fall in love again.

The last bit might be true.

But I doubt very much that it's got anything to do with the ghostly goings on she relates. Alex has had a number of relationships since she was married to the world's most iconic footballer. None worked out well for her.

Through it all, she has clung on to her former husband's famous name with the iron grip of a soothsayer clutching a crystal ball. It's what defines her. It keeps her in the headlines.

That's because George Best still makes headlines from beyond the grave. We know that. But whether he's still making advances to his ex-wife is another matter entirely.

Alex says she is convinced it's him because, in time-honoured tradition, the medium told her something that no one else could possibly know. A story about George hiding an engagement ring on the Christmas tree.

Maybe she really does believe this. Maybe it really does comfort her. In fairness to Alex, she and George were married for nine years and there is no doubt they were very happy - for a time.

She loved him. But without wishing to sound too amateur psychologist about it, maybe it's Alex who just can't ever let George go.

Because, as she once admitted, he was the love of her life. I'm cynical enough to doubt he's moving the sideboards and hiding the house keys.

But not so cynical to believe that Alex is haunted by the loss of what used to be.

That she can't ever move on from being Mrs George Best.

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